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Path to Progress... Kissan Rail & Kissan UDAN Yojna

by Madhavi Mihir Bhuta (National Executive Member, BJP Mahila Morcha)
Feb 11, 2021
Path to Progress... Kissan Rail & Kissan UDAN Yojna, Knowledge, KonexioNetwork.com

Bharat, our Motherland’s entire cultural, economic and social identity is based on Agriculture.

In Agro based nations such as Bharat’s, farmers have always been at the mercy of Varundev or Rain God. Whenever the monsoon failed, they would be in a helpless situation. Their plight has been constant.

The Congress Governments,  post Independence, hardly did anything to change the scenario. All they adopted was “Karz Maafi” for loanees. Was the Karz Maafi, a route to their progress...?!!!

Surely not.

This would indicate that farmers were left at the mercy of nature and such uncertainty every year would hamper their growth and eventually Nation’s progress.

Even during seasons of good harvest, the perishable produce like Fruits and Vegetables grown by the farmers turned into a  huge waste as there wasn't any significant machinery to transport them to their market destination within the stipulated period.

According to a senior official of Bengal’s state agricultural marketing department,  more than 18% to 25% of the vegetables, fruits and flowers were wasted due to lack of efficient transport facility to various parts of the nation.

Transporting the Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers by trucks on Roadways, resulted in the produce becoming dry and stale by the time it reached the markets as there were not adequate facilities to manage the temperature. Hence, the only alternative the farmers had was to sell it in the local vicinity at a lower price than sending it across the country.

Narendra Modi Government has implemented a number of Yojanas to strengthen and support the Farmer and his activities.

Pradhan Mantri Kissan Samman Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Jal Sinchai  Yojana are few examples of Modi Government’s positive policies to uplift the Farmers of the country.

In February 2020, in the second budget of Modi 2.0, the Government announced a novel infrastructure facility, to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, like Vegetables, Fruits, Milk, Flowers, Meat, Fish etc. The Bharatiya Railway, set up a “Kissan Rail” through PPP arrangements with refrigerated coaches to transport perishable goods.

Earlier, the proposal to use refrigerated parcel vans to ferry perishables was announced by the railway minister, Mamata Banerjee in 2009-10 budget but lack of political will and dedication to implement such unique reform did not allow it to take off.

Hon. Prime Minister’s vision is accompanied by strong devotion to change and uplift the lives of common men. Hence, with sincere and efficient efforts, the Modi Government went a step further and started dedicated trains for perishable produce to reach its markets.

The first Kissan Rail was flagged off by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomarji and Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyalji on August 7th 2020.

The first Kissan Rail commuted between Deolali in Maharashtra and Danapur in Bihar. The route comprising of Manmad, Jalgaon, Bhusawal in Maharashtra, Burhanpur, Khandwa, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Satna, Katani in Madhya Pradesh, Manikpur, Prayagraj Chivki, Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Nagar in Uttar Pradesh and Buxor in Bihar were covered on the route.

These destinations are rich and fertile areas of Fruits and Flowers.

The first Kissan Rail covered 1,519 kilometers in 31 hours. Hence within two days the perishable farm produce was delivered to Markets across the length and breadth of our nation.

By the end of the year 2020, the 100th Kissan Rail Service was flagged off by the Hon. Prime Minister, which ran from Sangola in Maharashtra to far away Shalimar in West Bengal.

The multi commodity Kissan Rail Train Service transported vegetables such as Cauliflower, Onions, Cabbage, Capsicums, Drumsticks as well as fruits such as Banana, Pomegranate, Grapes, Custard Apple, Oranges etc.

The loading and unloading of perishable items by the Kissan Rail train service is allowed at all enroute stoppages with no bar on the size of the consignment.

The Central Government has extended a subsidy of 50% on transportation of vegetables and fruits.

The first Kissan Rail operated between Deolali (Maharashtra) and Danapur (Bihar) got a thumping response, thus the service has been extended upto Muzzafar Nagar and the weekly commutes have been frequented three times a week.

The Modi Government‘s vision has not been limited to developed and flourishing states. The Government’s goal is to enrich the remotest corner of the nation.

With this aim, the North East Frontier Railway (NFR) has started Kissan Tail operations from Agartala in Tripura, the far off North Eastern state to Howrah and Sealdah in Kolkatta, Bengal.

Aniruddh Pujari of Sangola in Solapur, Maharashtra grows Grapes in 17 acres of his farm, drumsticks in 40 acres and Pomegranate in 20 acres.

Earlier, he could sell his produce in Mumbai, Delhi and Nagpur to a limited extent as the only option for transporting was through Roadways.

The truck owner mostly dumped much more boxes of these perishable goods than their capacity to carry. As a result, the boxes at the bottom were damaged by being overweight. Additionally, if the truck was stuck on the way or had a breakdown, the produce became stale. The lack of refrigeration facilities also damaged the produce.

Now, with the advent of Kissan Rail, Aniruddh is looking forward to capturing markets as far as in Bengal. He would earn 2/- Rupees more per kg and also be able to supply more as the time span for transporting is less.

The primary objective of running Kissan Special trains is to increase the income in the farm sector by connecting production centres to markets and consumption centres.

In Hon. Prime Minister ‘s words, “Kissan Rail is Chalta-Firta Cold Storage”.

Similarly, Krishi UDAN yojna has been launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation on national and international routes.

This Yojna is a step ahead to Kissan Rail. It ensures the farmers that their perishable produce reaches the interstate as well as the international markets in the shortest possible time.

Such vast exposure and availability of markets expands  their potential for growth.

The PradhanMantri Krishi Udaan Yojna is available for all farmers across Bharat.

Those wanting to register online for availing this facility, can visit the official website of the Yojna, Krishi Udan Yojna 2021. I.e. http//agriculture.gov.in/

On the homepage, the application form would be displayed. Entering the required details and submitting the form the online registration can be done.

The required documents to apply online are Aadhar Card, Farming related documents, Residence Certificates, Income Certificates, Ration Card and registered and linked mobile number.

The applicant must be a permanent resident of Bharat.

The Krishi Udaan Scheme is being operated under the Airport Authority of India. (AAI)

The machinery of Kissan Rail Service and Krishi UDAN Yojna facilities have been implemented with the aim of doubling the income of the farmers by 2022.

Currently, We are witnessing much talked about Farmers Protest against the three significant reforms brought by the Modi Government in Farm laws. The Farm Bill 2020 addresses, curtailing the monopoly of APMCs and opening of Open Market Policy enabling farmers to acquire competitive price for their produce.

One argument that I have come across is regarding high transportation costs  to be incurred by the marginal farmers if they choose to sell their produce in far off markets.

Previously, farmers had no option but to transport their produce via roadways which greatly increased the transportation cost. Additionally, lack of cold storage facilities in road transport system, the perishable goods had to be sold off in the local markets at the cheaper price.

All these loopholes that existed in the system, has created nexus of Middleman and APMCs.

The insightful  Modi Government has already reprimand the follies prevailing in the system and created the infrastructure of cheaper transportation of perishable produce theough Kissan Rail and PradhanMantri Krishi Udaan Yojna for farmers before implementing the reforms in the Farm laws.

The entire network of numerous Farmer related welfare scheme is nothing but a sure shot design to honour our Anndata (अन्नदाता).